Walmart buys way into India wealth management to encounter Amazon
By siliconindia | Wednesday, 18 May 2022, 06:37 Hrs
Walmart Inc.’s Indian payments unit PhonePe will acquire two wealth management firms for a total enterprise value of $75 million bringing the retail giant head-to-head with Amazon.com Inc. in the country’s rapidly-expanding money management segment.
PhonePe will buy WealthDesk for about $50 million and OpenQ for nearly $25 million, two sources directly aware of the matter said on Tuesday, declining to be named as the specifics are private.
PhonePe confirmed it was acquiring WealthDesk and OpenQ. A spokeswoman, however, declined to discuss the financial details of the deals.
“The founder of WealthDesk and the entire team will be working as a part of the PhonePe group and both the platforms will remain independent,” PhonePe said in a statement. “Post acquisition, OpenQ will be instrumental in creating the wealth ecosystem for the PhonePe group.”
WealthDesk, founded in 2016 and headquartered in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, allows customers to invest in stocks and exchange traded funds. OpenQ also offers retail and institutional investors trading baskets and investment analytics services.
The acquisitions will help PhonePe widen its offerings in a lucrative payments market where tech giants including Google, Amazon and SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Paytm compete.
Amazon last year made its first investment in India’s booming wealth management space as it participated in a $40 million round by fintech startup Smallcase Technologies Pvt. Google has partnered with key Indian banks to grant consumer loans online.
PhonePe, founded in 2015 and led by Sameer Nigam, became part of Walmart after the retailer’s acquisition of Flipkart Group in 2018.
Flipkart owns about 87% stake in PhonePe, while its parent Walmart owns about 10%.